In dispute with Catholic leaders, Duterte tells Filipinos to quit church

Light of truth

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his attacks on Catholic leaders and urged Filipinos to stop going to church altogether.

The president, who earlier this year called God “stupid,” suggested in a Nov. 26 speech that people should instead build their own chapels where they can pray.

“You don’t have to go to Church to pay for these idiots,” said Duterte referring to bishops who have condemned the wave of drug-related killings in the country.

Duterte’s tirade against church leaders came days after he accused Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan of giving church donations to his family. He offered no supporting evidence for his accusation.

“You, David, you be quiet. You go on asking for contributions. …Where does the people’s money go?” the president said on November 22.

“You know, the truth is, I tell you, the offerings, the pineapple, avocado, bananas, where do they go? You want to know? I will show you. To his family,” Duterte said.

“The fool just keeps on asking — there is even a second collection,” he added.

In a statement, David, a vocal critic of drug-related killings in the Philippines, said “people who are sick sometimes do not know what they are talking about.”

Earlier this month, the bishop asked the public to pray for Duterte because he is a “very sick man.” He made the statement after the president called saints “fools” and “drunkards.”

David’s pronouncement seemed to anger the president. Duterte said on Nov. 26 that he thought that the bishop might be into drugs. “I’m telling you, David. I wonder why he goes around in the evening. I suspect that he might be into drugs,” he said.

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